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Blacklands by Belinda Bauer
  

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CWA Gold Dagger Winner 2010.

CWA Judges’ comments: 'A boy tries to lay to rest the ghost of a murdered uncle, leading to a chilling confrontation with a child killer in this disturbing coming-of-age novel.'

February 2010 Debut of the Month.

Featured on The TV Book Club on More4 on 24 January 2010.

There is an echo of the Moors Murders of the 1960’s in this story line which adds an extra element of eeriness to this suspense filled thriller. Creepy and gripping this is an excellent debut that bodes well for future novels.

If you like Belinda Bauer you might also like to read books by Val McDermid, M. R. Hall and Simon Lelic.

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Synopsis

Blacklands by Belinda Bauer

Twelve-year-old Steven Lamb digs holes on Exmoor, hoping to find a body. Every day after school, while his classmates swap football stickers, Steven goes digging to lay to rest the ghost of the uncle he never knew, who disappeared aged eleven and is assumed to have fallen victim to the notorious serial killer Arnold Avery. Only Steven's Nan is not convinced her son is dead.

She still waits for him to come home, standing bitter guard at the front window while her family fragments around her. Steven is determined to heal the widening cracks between them before it's too late. And if that means presenting his grandmother with the bones of her murdered son, he'll do it.

So the boy takes the next logical step, carefully crafting a letter to Arnold Avery in prison. And there begins a dangerous cat-and-mouse game between a desperate child and a bored serial killer. A game that will have more terrifying consequences than Steven could ever imagine...


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Reviews

With this extraordinarily powerful and provocative debut, Belinda Bauer has shifted the boundaries of what makes a truly gripping, terrifying thriller. Imagine Thomas Harris crossed with Kate Atkinson and you still won't be close... Right from the start you know you are reading something both new and with real guts... will leave you breathless -- HENRY SUTTON * Daily Mirror * An excellent first novel, with a highly original plot and convincingly clammy atmosphere... Belinda Bauer paces the rising tension with great skill and a confidence rarely exhibited by first-timers. She's a real find * The Times * This astonishingly assured debut... for once lives up to the hype... genuinely chilling... a psychological tour-de-force about the cruelty of hope and, ultimately, the triumph of innocence * Guardian * [Bauer's] portrait of the psychopath chills the blood. The reader is fully gripped... Bauer's first novel shows an extraordinary power of imagination and, vital in crime fiction, the ability to create fear and empathy in the reader * Independent * In this atmospheric debut, Bauer ably paints a convincingly chilling portrait of a child killer, but it is her moving portrayal of a lonely, bullied child with a comfortless life that singles her out as an accomplished writer * Daily Mail *


About the Author

Belinda Bauer

Belinda Bauer grew up in England and South Africa and now lives in Wales. She worked as a journalist and a screenwriter before finally writing a book to appease her nagging mother. With her debut, Blacklands, Belinda was awarded the CWA Gold Dagger for Crime Novel of the Year. She went on to win the CWA Dagger in the Library for her body of work in 2013. Her fourth novel Rubbernecker was voted 2014 Theakston Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year. Her books have been translated into 21 languages.

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Book Info

Publication date

2nd January 2010

Author

Belinda Bauer

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Author's Website

www.belindabauer.co.uk/

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Publisher

Corgi Books an imprint of Transworld Publishers Ltd

Format

Paperback
352 pages

Categories

Thriller / Suspense
All Shortlists and Winners
Crime / Mystery
Debuts of the Month
eBook Favourites
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Crime & mystery
Thrillers (Children's / Teenage)

ISBN

9780552158848

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